Another knockout. This is packed with smoky blood-orange bacon goodness from end to end. The play between the musty peat and zingy fruit is very exciting. The texture is nice and oily as well. Don’t be dissuaded by this being a cab sav finish rather than a full maturation: there’s plenty of strong wine notes to go around. I’m not sure the dram would be any better with a full maturation rather than the 3-year finish. Did I mention that I love blood oranges?
Nose: Loads of Longrow goodness, not completely swamped by the red wine. Malted barley, with familiar notes of sesame seeds and musty, earthy smoke. Some heavy savoury notes of braised beef and mulch. Blood orange, cherries, cassis, wine gums, raisins, and baked apples. Some cinnamon and star anise. Some very fragrant vanilla.
Palate: Thick, oily texture. A big blast of zingy blood orange and wine gums up front. There’s plenty of salty and savoury, with loads of caramelized mushrooms, bacon, toasted nuts, and coconut. Dark thick wine notes as well. Pardon my French, but it’s something like a coq au vin sauce. The heavy industrial peat in the middle is tempered by fruity sweetness and acidity: maybe some mulled wine or apple cider. Woody spice on the development: wine tannins, dark-roasted malt, cinnamon, licorice, and overbrewed English Breakfast.
Finish: Musty and savoury, with more dark sweetness and a zing of acidity. Loads of blood orange, some grapefruit, raisins, and a hint of crystallized pineapple. More black tea, crusty sourdough, apple cider, and licorice. Some salty bacon. Chestnut?